Perspective

I love House (MD), as played by Hugh Laurie. He’s a genius doctor but lacks people-skills.

Today I met a doctor who reminded me a bit of House, but not in a good way. There was no sarcasm, for instance. I was referred to see a dermatologist because a mole on my back had become inflamed. That would have been funny, wouldn’t it? Getting skin cancer when I am undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Ok, maybe not funny. More annoying.

Anyway, it’s not cancer so that’s good.

The dermatologist strode into the room, said “Dixon?” while shaking my hand (I have never been called ‘Dixon’ before. Mrs Dixon, yes, but not Dixon.) Then he asked in a cross tone,

“Why are you here?”

I took a second to respond as was a little taken aback. I explained why I was there, which he seemed to accept. The appointment was over in three minutes. This is very efficient, I must admit. He certainly is a good doctor, he just can’t cope with things like eye-contact or small talk or such. I guess that I am used to my friendly and chatty oncologist, so am a bit spoiled.

I was reading the leaflet about preparing for minor surgery – I am going to have my mole removed under local anaesthetic. I had a chuckle at the thought of someone being scared of local anaesthetic. After chemo, side-effects, having a PICC, and looking forward to a mastectomy, a little mole being removed is a nice day out.

But then Mike reminded me that when I had another mole removed a few years ago, I had been very worried about it beforehand. I guess that it all comes down to perspective. Before you have ever been really ill, a cold will knock you for six and you will be tempted to tell everyone you had flu. A stubbed toe is agony until you go through labour for the first time- then you know what real pain is and afterwards you laugh in the face of sore feet.

I am reading a book about Jewish women in concentration camps during WWII, who had to hide their pregnancies on threat of death. It’s called Born Survivors. They had so little food for so long, as well as hard manual labour, that it’s amazing that they and their babies survived. I can’t possibly imagine the hunger that they experienced. They saw a rotten raw potato as a feast. I have fasted before for one whole day. I thought that was hunger – how wrong I was. It’s all about perspective.

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Author: Alex

I work in a college library, and love reading and writing. I write short stories, poetry, blogs and children's stories. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2015.

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